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How do the concepts of "wyrd" and "fate" influence or affect Beowulf's actions throughout the poem?

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Even though Beowulf in its current form was composed by a Mercian monk in 750-850 BCE long after England became Christianized, the poem is an interesting amalgam of Christian and pagan belief systems. This tells us that Beowulf, despite its Christian makeover when it was composed, is a product of an oral tradition of the Scandinavian people from an earlier age, who eventually settled large parts of England.

Not surprisingly, then, remnants of pagansim, such as wyrd (fate), often sit alongside the Christian term for the same thing. But the concept of wyrd, as opposed to God's will, is so strong a remnant of the poem's pagan origins that it is woven into the characters' minds and speech.

As the cornerstone of a pagan belief system, wyrd retains its hold on the world depicted in Beowulf because the characters know fate is the ultimate decider of one's life or death. Because wyrd is the decider, men like Beowulf and Hrothgar, even though technically Christians, are fatalists—they may know in an...

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